Suspected Egyptian terrorist and 2 local militants killed in Philippines

© Oliver Haynes/SOPA Images via ZUMA Wire/dpa

A suspected Egyptian terrorist and two Filipino Islamist militants were killed in a firefight with government troops in the southern Philippines, the military said on Saturday.

Soldiers were conducting a security operation in the village of Igasan in Patikul town on Jolo island, 1,000 kilometres south of Manila, when they clashed with a group of militants on Friday night.

Troops recovered the bodies of the Egyptian suspect and two members of the Abu Sayyaf terrorist group after the fighting, said Lieutenant General Corleto Vinluan Jr, a regional military commander.

The Egyptian, identified by his alias Yusop, was one of five foreign terrorists believed to be operating on Jolo, according to the military.

He is the son of an Egyptian female suicide bomber who died in an attack on a military detachment in nearby Indanan town in September 2019, Vinluan said.

Yusop had been volunteering to be a suicide bomber, while one of the slain Abu Sayyaf members was identified as bomb-maker Abu Khattab Jundulah, said Mayor General William Gonzales, an anti-terrorism task force commander.

“Without them, the possibility of another attack is slimmer,” he said.

The Abu Sayyaf is the most violent militant Islamist group in the Philippines and has been blamed for some of the worst terrorist attacks in the country, as well as high-profile kidnappings for ransom.

The militants have abducted dozens of foreigners for ransom since 2000, killing some of them, including a German man in 2017.

The group has allied itself with the Islamic State extremist organization, which has claimed responsibility for several bombings in the Philippines.

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